The US Department of Justice has said that the state and city of New York agreed Tuesday to pay back 540 million dollars after submitting false claims for the Medicaid health insurance program.
According to the department, the sum -- 440 million dollars from the state and 100 million dollars from the city, covering over a decade of claims -- is a record in recovered funds for the program.
State and city authorities admitted to submitting false records for reimbursement of medical expenses for programs assisting disabled children from 1990 to 2001, the department said.
Medicaid medical services in the United States is provided for low-income people and those with disabilities, and the federal government and states share the respective costs.
The government's allegations arose following lawsuits under the "whistleblower provisions" of the False Claims Act -- which allows the "relators" to file actions and share in any recovery.
A New York speech therapist who brought the fraud to the attention of investigators was set to receive 10 million dollars in the settlement, the Justice Department said.